Sunday, September 27, 2009

African-American Studies 0009: Introduction to Hip Hop

This will be my blog. A place where I talk about hip hop. I strongly dislike the term "hip hop." I prefer "rap"...although that's not as accurate of a term (since instrumental hip hop isn't rap)...but if you insist on the term hip hop--like white people some people in our country insist on the term "African-American"--then I will use it. 

So, this is a hip hop blog.

But not just any hip hop. This blog is for people who don't care what Nas means by "Hip Hop is Dead" or how great conscious rap used to be in the days of BDP and Public Enemy. 

No No. 

This blog isn't about being an uppity hip hop listener sipping chai tea whilst musing about DJ Premier's novel use of polyrhythms and layering to convey the [insert bullshit about inner city life here]. 

This blog is about appreciating hip hop for what it was created to do: Make You Feel Good

That's Right. Did you forget that while you were rambling on about Souldja Boy?

I want to feel good..and if that means I have to project myself onto the "life" of a rapper as he slaps bitches, pushes fly whips, sells crack and makes it rain, then so be it. (according to Jay-Z, we're off that, I will be too). When I was little I ran around the house with a towel tied behind my back pretending I was Batman (yea...I was an odd one). If someone ever stopped me to say "You're not really Batman" I would look at that individual sideways and say "I know that, nigga. It's called make-believe." So, If I want to pretend I'm a G--or have a pimp's dream--in my 1988 Honda Accord DX Hatchback while bumping vintage Biggie from my blown speakers, why the hell would you stop me if I'm feeling good?

What's that you say? By doing that I'm participating in the cultural (re)production of internalized racism, misogyny and homophobia??

So begins our introduction to Hip Hop Studies. A field where dilettantes and heartless manipulators make waste of hip hop by using it as a platform for their post-structuralist, feminist and philosophical critiques of society--hip hop is a vessel to them, an artifact, an anthropological specimen far removed from the experiential core that hip hop thrives off of. The fact is, You Don't Know Hip Hop unless you experience hip hop. And in order to experience hip hop, you need to imagine yourself to be: a Pimp, a gangsta, a black leader in your own mind, a pothead, a CEO, a frat boy, an etc. Hip hop gives voice to all perspectives. It's a way to experiment with different ways of acting, thinking, and being (or, to use a two cent academic term: different modalities) in order to create, do, or be something that has never been seen before.

That's my manifesto, and that's why I love hip hop.

So, here we blog on hip hop with which I will provide you with ongoing criticisms of the best and worst of our culture.